Monday, May 04, 2009

Self-portrait in brass nameplate

click photo to enlarge
My first post in PhotoReflect, on 23rd December 2005, was entitled "Photography and Reflections", and featured a distorted self-portrait in the curved steel of the top of a cafetiere. Since that time I have posted several more reflected self-portraits. In fact it has become something of a recurring theme that I revisit from time to time. A couple of weeks ago, passing through the Norfolk town of Holt, I took the latest in the series. None of my reflected self-portraits have been particularly revealing, and this one certainly isn't!

Next to the door of a building was an old brass plate of the sort that certain professional people - doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc - used to advertise themselves. Today a piece of silk-lustre aluminium or engraved stainless steel is more common. However, fifty years and more ago brass was the metal of choice. It was harder to maintain than the modern plates, required regular polishing, usually turned green in places, but it did add a certain rich lustre to any facade where one was fixed. And, more importantly, it bolstered the image of those whom it advertised, and made their fee, which might seem exorbitant, look as though it was worth it!

This particular example advertises the firm of solicitors (lawyers) whose offices were (and perhaps still are) in the building. Other functions that also took place here are also listed on the plate. Its convex surface has had the effect of elongating me as I took my photograph, swathed in a fleece hat and a jacket because of the cold edge on the wind.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 19mm (38mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On